MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Wednesday, Minnesota’s health department released its latest virus figures showing 1,163 more cases and five new deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours, from roughly 23,640 newly processed tests.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 630,512 positive cases and 7,742 deaths.

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The latest figures of those hospitalized show 125 Minnesotans in ICU, compared to fewer than 20 about a month ago. There are an additional 336 reported hospitalizations for COVID in the state. The figures show an average of 6.9 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, which is above the line of caution.

The health department reports that the rolling average positivity rate is now at 5.3%. That’s above the line for caution (which is 5%), however it appears that the positivity rate’s growth is starting to plateau after some weeks of significant jumps day-over-day.

There are also a reported 18.7 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk. The state spent the early part of summer well below the line of caution, which is drawn at five new cases daily per 100,000 residents.

As of Wednesday morning, the latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 70.6% of Minnesotans 16 or older had received at least one dose, and 92.5% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 6,054,186 doses of vaccine, with more than 3.05 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

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Federal health officials said Wednesday that vaccinated Americans will need to get booster shots eight months after receiving their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to maximize its protection against the virus and extend its durability.

Americans who were first to get vaccinated against COVID-19 — health care providers, nursing home residents and the elderly — will likely be eligible for a booster late next month, the public health officials said.

In a statement about boosters, the Minnesota Department of Health said there is “plenty of vaccine available” and officials “stand ready to work with the federal government and our partners across the state to ensure that Minnesotans have equitable access to booster doses to provide the best protection against COVID-19.”

“What Minnesotans need to know right now is that the vaccines provide strong protection against COVID-19, especially against severe illness and death,” MDH said. “Booster doses likely will be needed in the near future to continue that protection, but people need to wait until the prescribed time to get that booster.”

Meanwhile, the Minnesota State Fair says that, while there are no official mandates regarding the upcoming fair in terms of the surging COVID-19 pandemic, guests are urged to “do the right thing” when it comes to doing what they can to maintain a safe environment.

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